Antony and Cleopatra By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 6

ACT II. SCENE VI. Near Misenum.

[Flourish. Enter POMPEY and MENAS at one side, with drum and
trumpet; at the other, CAESAR, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, ENOBARBUS,
MAECENAS, with Soldiers marching.]

POMPEY.
Your hostages I have, so have you mine;
And we shall talk before we fight.

CAESAR.
Most meet
That first we come to words; and therefore have we
Our written purposes before us sent;
Which, if thou hast consider'd, let us know
If 'twill tie up thy discontented sword,
And carry back to Sicily much tall youth
That else must perish here.

POMPEY.
To you all three,
The senators alone of this great world,
Chief factors for the gods, — I do not know
Wherefore my father should revengers want,
Having a son and friends; since Julius Caesar,
Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
There saw you labouring for him. What was't
That mov'd pale Cassius to conspire; and what
Made the all-honour'd, honest Roman, Brutus,
With the arm'd rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom,
To drench the Capitol, but that they would
Have one man but a man? And that is it
Hath made me rig my navy; at whose burden
The anger'd ocean foams; with which I meant
To scourge the ingratitude that despiteful Rome
Cast on my noble father.

CAESAR.
Take your time.

ANTONY.
Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails;
We'll speak with thee at sea: at land thou know'st
How much we do o'er-count thee.

POMPEY.
At land, indeed,
Thou dost o'er-count me of my father's house:
But, since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
Remain in't as thou mayst.

LEPIDUS.
Be pleas'd to tell us, —
For this is from the present, — how you take
The offers we have sent you.

CAESAR.
There's the point.

ANTONY.
Which do not be entreated to, but weigh
What it is worth embrac'd.

CAESAR.
And what may follow,
To try a larger fortune.

POMPEY.
You have made me offer
Of Sicily, Sardinia; and I must
Rid all the sea of pirates; then to send
Measures of wheat to Rome; this 'greed upon,
To part with unhack'd edges and bear back
Our targes undinted.

CAESAR, ANTONY, and LEPIDUS.
That's our offer.

POMPEY.
Know, then,
I came before you here a man prepar'd
To take this offer: but Mark Antony
Put me to some impatience: — though I lose
The praise of it by telling, you must know,
When Caesar and your brother were at blows,
Your mother came to Sicily, and did find
Her welcome friendly.

ANTONY.
I have heard it, Pompey,
And am well studied for a liberal thanks
Which I do owe you.

POMPEY.
Let me have your hand:
I did not think, sir, to have met you here.

ANTONY.
The beds i' the East are soft; and, thanks to you,
That call'd me, timelier than my purpose, hither;
For I have gained by it.

CAESAR.
Since I saw you last
There is a change upon you.

POMPEY.
Well, I know not
What counts harsh fortune casts upon my face;
But in my bosom shall she never come
To make my heart her vassal.

LEPIDUS.
Well met here.

POMPEY.
I hope so, Lepidus. — Thus we are agreed:
I crave our composition may be written,
And seal'd between us.

CAESAR.
That's the next to do.

POMPEY.
We'll feast each other ere we part; and let's
Draw lots who shall begin.

ANTONY.
That will I, Pompey.

POMPEY.
No, Antony, take the lot: but, first
Or last, your fine Egyptian cookery
Shall have the fame. I have heard that Julius Caesar
Grew fat with feasting there.

ANTONY.
You have heard much.

POMPEY.
I have fair meanings, sir.

ANTONY.
And fair words to them.

POMPEY.
Then so much have I heard;
And I have heard Apollodorus carried, —

ENOBARBUS.
No more of that: — he did so.

POMPEY.
What, I pray you?

ENOBARBUS.
A certain queen to Caesar in a mattress.

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